Dim your light as young birds take flight?


(Posted 17th April 2015)

Something unique is going to happen on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion when across the island the lights are dimmed at night, and in part switched off.

The endemic but endangered Barau petrel and Black petrel species, which nest at the slopes of the Piton de la Fournaisse, the island’s active volcano, and the slopes of the Grand Benare, will see their young try to take flight for the first time in their young feathered lives at this time of the year. Conservationists have for several years now been working hand in hand with the island’s communes and authorities to reduce light pollution during this period crucial for the young birds to gain their bearings and ascend to adult life.

Scientists had noticed a destructive pattern among the young birds, when, confused by the bright city lights, they lost their direction and even followed the moonlight reflections on the waters of the Indian Ocean, leading to their demise.

Until the 26th of April therefore will conservation groups working with the local government, hold a series of educational talks and workshops across the island to emphasize the need to use lights which are not harmful to the birds or else switch off conventional lights where possible or otherwise dim them.

The successful campaign is now in its seventh year and ornithologists are confident that this contribution by mankind will ultimately help these two endangered species of petrels to survive.

For more information simply click on http://bit.ly/1E4xnsn or watch a short YouTube clip (narrative in French) via https://youtu.be/6z-u6lFVNq0 which was produced by the University of Reunion in conjunction with Reunion National Parks.

%d bloggers like this: